Friday, February 24, 2012

SESAME WHEAT BRAIDS


This is a great recipe for a showy loaf of bread.  It is
not only pleasant to the eyes but tastes just as good as it looks.


The light wheat dough rises very quickly and the braids are
formed after the first rising.


Divide the dough in half and roll out into a long rectangle;
cut into thirds.


Bring the sides up and pinch together to form ropes.


Place the ropes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and braid.
You may find it easier to begin braiding from the center of the ropes.


Then turn the baking sheet around and finish the braid from
the opposite end.  At first I found that method a bit confusing.
If that is the case for you, just braid from one end all the way to
the other end.  Make sure you tuck the ends firmly under.


When the braids are risen, carefully brush the top and sides
with an egg wash.


Sprinkle with sesame seeds and pop into the oven.


I am so fond of this bread, sliced and buttered, with a dollop
of saskatoon jelly.


SESAME SEED BRAIDS

2 pkg. dry yeast (2 tbsp.)
2 cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.

1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup whole wheat flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast mixture, sugar and oil; mix well.
Stir in whole wheat flour; let stand until the mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes.

2 eggs
 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. salt
5 to 5½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sesame seeds

In a small bowl, beat the eggs and water.  Remove 2 tbsp. to a small
bowl; cover and refrigerate.  Add remaining egg mixture, salt and 3 cups
flour; beat until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7
minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Punch dough down and divide in half.  Roll each half into a
6x15-inch rectangle, approximately.
Cut into thirds lengthwise making 3 strips, about 2x15 inches long.
Bring sides up and pinch together to form ropes.
Place the 3 ropes on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet; braid.
Secure ends firmly and tuck under.

Repeat with second half of dough, placing braid on same baking sheet.
Let rise until nearly double, 35 to 45 minutes.
Carefully brush tops and sides of braids with the reserved egg
mixture.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in preheated 350° oven fro 20 to 25 minutes or
until golden brown.  Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.



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